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James "Jimmy" Lester Butler, JR, age 82, passed away after a long illness on Wednesday, April 10, 2013 in Lynden, Washington.
James "Jimmy" Lester Butler JR.
Jim was born on August 2, 1930 in Jacksonville, FL to Lester and Ruby Butler who preceded him in death. Many other beloved family members preceded Jim in death including several dearly loved aunts, uncles, cousins; his daughter-in-law, Teresa Bennett; and grandson, Scott Bennett.
Jim played baseball,
basketball and football in his early teen years and continued to be an avid
fan throughout his life.
(Go Huskies and Gators!) He attended Duncan Fletcher High School in Jacksonville Beach, Florida, and graduated from the US Army High School in Munich,
Germany in 1948. After
graduation, he and three other graduates drove a Jeep from Munich to Paris to celebrate.
Jim returned to the United States in 1948 and attended the University of Florida, majoring in accounting and statistics, graduating in 1952. He was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity. Following in his father's footsteps, Jim enlisted in the US Army in 1955 and attended an IBM training school in Indianapolis after which he was sent to
Heidelberg, Germany as a computer specialist. He left the army in 1958 and came home to Jacksonville. A short time later he moved to Washington State, loved it here in the Northwest, and never left.
Jim was an active member of the Boys Scouts
of America, the Ancient and Scottish Rite of the Masons, and a longstanding member of Lions Club and Rotary. He was also a
devoted member of the St. Paul's Episcopal Church. Jim and Mary were confirmed in the Episcopal Church in 1980.
Jim met and married Mary Jane August 2, 1980, while they were both working
at the Marysville School
District. Jim retired in 1986 as the Business Administrator for the district after 20 years of service. Mary
continued working as a school nurse for the district after Jim's retirement, until 1989. That was the year that a new journey began for Jim and his wife, Mary. They traveled the country, coast to coast, RV'ing,
golfing, skiing and enjoying an abundant life. In 1997, they built and purchased a home in Lynden, Washington, on the 18th green of the Homestead Golf and Country Club. Jim's love
of golfing also found the couple purchasing a home in Yuma, Arizona on the Cocopah Golf and RV Resort. Life was good until Jim became ill and life became challenging and traveling
impossible. Throughout his life Jim was always the
business manager, loved technology and his computer and watching and
cheering his favorite sports teams.
Jim was survived by his loving wife of 33 years, Mary Jane Butler of Lynden, Washington; his sister,
Jacqueline Jones-Butler of Fairbanks, AK; son, James Lee Butler of Falls Church, VA; daughter, Johanna Butler of Plano, TX; step-sons, Brian Bennett and wife, Vicki Bennett of Everett, WA; Douglas Bennett of
Anchor Point, AK; step-daughter, Patricia and husband, Jeff Johnson of
Spokane, WA; grandchildren, Jeffrey Lynn Butler of Baton Rouge, LA; Emily Christine Butler of Falls Church, VA; Jason and
Catherine Willey of Everett, WA; Lauren and Chris Englehardt of Colton, WA; Karl Johnson of Spokane, WA; Michelle and Mike Auvil of Wenatchee, WA; Todd and Vickie Bennett of
Cashmere, WA; Stacey Hingston of Mt. Vernon, WA;
Stephanie and Aaron Robbins of Sedro Wooley, WA; Brian and Brandi Maher of Entiat, WA; John and Robin Maher of New Calodona, MI; Julie and Bill Hoffmiester of Portland, OR; and several great-grand-children from Plano, Texas to Alaska; several nieces and nephews, especially
Michael Reilly of Ferndale, WA.
A Celebration of Jim's life will be held April 19, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 2117 Walnut St., Bellingham,
following the service, the
family invites you to join them for a reception.
Private graveside services will be held at a future date. Jim will be interred at Arlington, Washington.
The family would like
to express their thanks
and gratitude to the
caring staffs of the Christian Health Care Center, Whatcom Hospice and
Meadow Greens Retirement.
Jim's request is that
donations in his memory be made to the St. Paul's
Episcopal Church Endowment Fund, 2117 Walnut St., Bellingham, WA 98225
Arrangements made by Gillies Funeral Home & Cremation Services of Lynden.
Published in The Herald (Everett) on Apr. 18, 2013